Optional Courses

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Optional Courses

For year 3 timetable, click on files below.

Year 3 lecture timetable

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Clinical Psychologists adhere to a Scientist-Practitioner model, using the empirical evidence base of outcome research in the application of treatments for people  in distress. This course examines current practice in psychological therapies, and the psychological research which informs this. Attention will be paid to claims about evidence and its application in diverse clinical settings and across specific populations.

The course gives an overview of major topics in current personality research. Historical personality theories are not covered. Primary focus is on trait theories of personality differences, but variability within individuals over time and across situations, assessment, development, genetic and environmental interplay, involvement in life outcomes, and cross-cultural patterns are also addressed. The first six weeks are lectures introducing major theories, topics to be debated by the students, consolidation, and the debating assessment. After that, sessions will feature student debates on specified topics to build critical thinking, verbal expression, and argumentation skills. Students will be randomly allocated to eight groups that will be randomly paired to debate assigned topics. During the last third of each of these four sessions, each student will write a 150-word summary defending one of the positions taken by the week’s debaters to consolidate the learned material. Each summary will be independently peer-marked by two other students at the end of the session, to consolidate the material further. The peer marks will not be recorded for the course but will be returned to students as feedback. 

The course covers how cognition and the brain change during childhood, focusing on the reciprocal relationship between cognitive and brain development, and how it is influenced by the environment in which a child grows up. 

This course would provide foundational coverage of classic research in reasoning (e.g. syllogistic reasoning, conditional propositions, and causal reasoning) leading up to more advanced material (judging and reasoning about probabilities, Prospect Theory). 

This course examines our perception of the external world in relation to our body, how this information is used to control purposeful action, where in the brain these processes take place, and how we subjectively experience them. We will cover theoretical approaches to perception and action, the use of vision and body senses to guide actions, basic concepts in action control, body representation as a feat of multisensory integration, the dynamic flexibility of body representation, and the experience of body ownership and agency. The evidence will be drawn from diverse techniques in cognitive neuroscience, including the neuropsychological study of brain-damaged people, experimental studies of healthy people, functional brain imaging and neuro-disruption, and single-cell neurophysiology in animals. The core course content is presented in lectures, with additional in-class discussions, and independent further study.

Students are introduced to neural networks and their use in modelling cognitive and psychological phenomena. Students cover a variety of network types, and learn to develop simple networks using python and more complex networks using the keras library.  

This course outlines Discursive Social Psychology and Critical Social Psychology. It examines how these approaches have changed our understanding of social psychological topics with reference to empirical studies of self and social identities; gender; prejudiced attitudes; inequality and power; thinking, subjectivity and emotion. It discusses key debates to which these different approaches have given rise.

This course aims to promote an appreciation of methodological issues in psychological research via case studies in parapsychology (the scientific study of paranormal beliefs and experiences).

This course provides an overview of theory and research on motivation and emotion. With an emphasis on empirical evidence, we will focus on how emotional states contribute to the expression of motivated goal-directed behaviors, and vice versa. We will examine these processes from a variety of psychological perspectives (e.g., biological, cognitive, developmental, social). This course will provide you with tools for understanding and regulating motivation and emotion, both intra- and interpersonally.

 The course covers how cognition and the brain change from gestation up to the age of around 2 years. It focuses on the reciprocal relationship between cognitive and brain development, and how these developmental pathways are affected by the infant's physical and social environment.